Judge Orders Arrest Of Roger ‘Legal Schnauzer’ Shuler
In Alabama, it seems, the First Amendment does not apply, especially if you are a politically blue blogger reporting allegations of salacious conduct by Republican power players. And when they sic their pals in the judicial branch on you, they will use the system to make your life hell:
A Shelby County blogger, who spent five months in jail until he removed from his website stories about the son of former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, is now in more trouble with the law.
[The stories detailed allegations that Rob Riley Jr. carried on an affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke.]
A Shelby County judge recently issued a writ of arrest for Roger Shuler, author of the Legal Schnauzer blog, court records show.
Efforts today to reach Shuler prior to the publication of this story were unsuccessful. A woman who identified herself as Shuler’s wife said in a phone call with AL.com that her husband was unaware of the court action. Efforts to reach an official with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office also were unsuccessful.
Shuler had not been arrested as of today according to court and online jail records.
The writ was issued based on a motion filed May 29 by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to revoke Shuler’s probation on his Jan. 14 conviction on a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. The motion states that Shuler failed to make payment of court ordered fees and fines and did not appear as ordered by the court.
Shelby County District Court Judge Ronald E. Jackson ordered that Shuler be arrested on the probation revocation complaint. The judge set an $845 cash bond that Shuler would have to post to be released from jail while a hearing is pending on revocation of his probation.
Jackson had sentenced Shuler to 90 days in jail based on his conviction. But the judge suspended the sentence two years.
Shuler was charged with resisting arrest last fall when he was taken into custody on a contempt of court charge filed by judge after Shuler, at least initially, refused to remove stories he had written on Legal Schnauzer that Rob Riley, the son of the former governor, had an affair.
The good folks at AL.com left out the part about law enforcement allegedly making an illegal entry of Shuler’s residence, beating him up, and then “arresting” him — allegations backed up by photographs of Shuler’s badly bruised and swollen face. There’s also the troubling business about the original arrest warrant having been unsigned.
Shuler’s incarceration for contempt has drawn national attention from groups that claims Shuler’s First Amendment rights were violated. The ACLU and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed briefs on his behalf.
Weeks after the posts were removed Rob Riley complained that a very similar website with Shuler’s posts had appeared. Shuler denied he had anything to do with the other website.
Once again, AL.com fails to disclose an important detail of that wrinkle: content thieves in India commonly clone Web sites to rake in incremental ad revenue.